Seminars and webinars are powerful tools I’ve used since 2008 to grow my business. I’ve offered evolving variations of our seminars over 100 times, which has helped me attract many great clients, and more than $1M in post-webinar sales.
If you set your seminar up the right way, it’s a teaching tool you can use over and over.
You can plan an effective seminar or webinar, and it doesn’t have to take weeks out of your life. Here’s how you can plan your own webinar in 90 minutes or less.
When you’re ready to begin planning a webinar, follow the steps below. I challenge you to set a timer on your phone for each step. This way, you won’t be as inclined as I sometimes am to obsess over the details. You can always go back and fine-tune later.
The topic of your webinar should address a specific issue or problem that your customer is trying to solve. It should not be a sales pitch about your product or service, but it should be related to your product or service. For now, don’t obsess over the wording or what to call your webinar; just choose a theme and run with it. The catchy marketing work can come later.
For example, let’s pretend that your product is “The Reconnect Program,” an online coaching program for families with teenagers to overcome social media and cell phone addiction. The target audience for such a program is parents who feel these devices and platforms have created distance between them and their kids. You don’t want the webinar to be a guide on why participants should sign up for The Reconnect Program.
Now that you know the theme of your webinar, put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes. What are some of the challenges they face that are related to your topic (feel separate from their children, don’t know what’s going on in their lives, see symptoms of anxiety or depression in their kids)? What are some of their fears or concerns about their problem (worried they won’t confide in them if they are in trouble, concerned about the influence of Influencers on their health and wellbeing)? What are the consequences if this problem isn’t addressed (they won’t have a relationship with their children as they become adults, they will make poor choices without a trusted parent, grades will suffer, health will suffer)?
Your target audience needs to know why they should trust you, of all people, to teach them about your subject. Why does this subject matter to you? How can you empathize with this problem? Share personal stories, your origin story, or results or testimonials of others with whom you’ve worked.
As the owner of The Reconnect Program, I might share that our family was always running in a hundred different directions, and even on the nights we sat down for dinner together, all of us were somewhere else—reading a news story on our phones, texting with a friend, scrolling through social media—our bodies were present, but our minds and hearts were elsewhere. I was watching my son turn into a young man right before my eyes, but I had no way to know what was going on inside his head. Something had to change.
This is the main focal point of your webinar or seminar. What are the main ideas you want to make sure your audience hears about during this session? These might be based on what your audience should do (i.e., 5 ways to have good conversations at dinner without cell phones).
Better yet, think about what things related to your topic your customer ought to avoid. Our long-running seminar is titled “7 Costly Mistakes Local Businesses Make with Marketing.” The Reconnect Program might identify six bad habits that parents have that fuel kids’ cell phone and social media addictions. Again, don’t fuss over wordsmithing at this point; just get your key ideas down on paper in outline form. You can circle back later to finesse the headings.
As the experts in your business, it’s tempting to dig into the nitty-gritty technical details, but you want whatever you deliver to be easily digested by your target customer.
What next step should your customer take after the webinar? Is it to schedule a consultation? Make a purchase? Request a meeting? You want to deliberately incorporate this next step into the webinar. To help motivate your customer along your sales funnel, you might use the principle of scarcity.
The Reconnect Program might wrap up their webinar on the six bad habits that fuel kids’ cell phone addictions with an offer to enroll in The Reconnect Program at 50% off, but only if they enroll by the end of the day tomorrow.
At the end of the webinar, you want to position your product as the solution to the problems they are experiencing, and give your customer a vision of what success could look like for them. Revisit some of those testimonials and results. What success stories can you share to give your customer hope that these ideas might work for them, too? Share stories of how specific parents who completed The Reconnect Program were able to build trust with their kids.
Take a look back at the problems you wrote in step two, the list of topics in step four, or the success outcome in step six for ideas on how to title your seminar. For The Reconnect Program, I would go with a webinar called “6 Mistakes Parents Make That Fuel Kids’ Cell Phone Addictions.”
Here’s the overall flow of the webinar using the example above:
That’s it! Ready to plan your webinar? Download our Webinar Planning Worksheet to organize your thoughts on paper.
Now that you’ve planned your webinar, the other details will come together fast. Create a simple slide deck that follows the flow in steps 1-7 above. If it’s a live in-person seminar, you might also create a simple fill-in-the-blanks worksheet with your key points in step 4 that attendees can use to follow along. Then use the content in steps 7, 6, and 2 to create a blurb promoting the event. Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to a presentation you can use to get results for your business over and over again.
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